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Archive | Awards & Honors

listing of any awards or honors I acquire.

Listen to your Mother: Pray the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries by Jerry Windley-Daoust

Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. —1 John 2:11

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the darkness? Turn on any news show and you’ll want to run to your nearest closet, lock yourself in, and declare the world a hopeless, evil place. But there is a key to unlock that closet, and it’s held by an unlikely girl, once a nobody, really. But then she was given a great task to become part of the salvation of all creation, and she said “yes.” She did not let darkness overcome her. She walked with it until it passed. And now she wants to lead you to The Way, to her Son. The steps on the path are the beads on her Rosary.

Pray one decade (1 Our Father + 10 Hail Marys + 1 Glory Be) on your couch with a cup of coffee. Pray all 5 decades x 20 mysteries on your knees in a monastery. Pray it on your fingers in the car. It doesn’t matter… as long as you pray it. Why? Because when you spend even a few moments of each day mindful of the feminine strength needed to bring God’s Grace to the world, you will begin to understand your part in overcoming darkness too.

When I was a child I was preoccupied with order and perfection. It’s safe to say I probably had a bit of undiagnosed OCD… and one thing I obsessed about was church rules. I would try to say the rosary before bed, but if I made one mistake, even in the last word of the last prayer, I’d start over. As you can imagine, I did some pretty heavy praying for a kid! My one reprieve was to recite it with my mother. Together, we could make all the mistakes we wanted and it was OK. Her inherent goodness was powerful enough to negate my imperfections. So I would trek down the hall to her room at 10 or 11pm, frustrated by my “prayer failures”, and wake her up from a deep sleep to say the rosary with me. And to her credit she did it. I’m sure her reaction was a mixture of happiness that I was so devout and complete annoyance that I was interrupting her much-needed sleep. Still, she was there for me. She didn’t leave me all alone in my darkness.

I continued to say parts of the rosary throughout my life, albeit less devoutly. Ten “Hail Marys” before bed, an “Our Father” on the way to a college test. No real devotion…more of a comforting insurance policy, really. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I really needed to turn to prayer for a difficult situation that comfort of the rosary became real to me. This time, it was my turn to accompany someone through darkness. In recitation of the simple prayers, holding each bead as I went along, I felt the Blessed Mother walking beside me. I was guided toward the help needed; I was given the strength to think clearly when things got scary. But most importantly, I was provided with an underlying sense of Peace. I was given the mantra “Let it Be”, which I understood to mean that in the end, all would be well. Just what a mother would say. And she was right.

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

Recently, two of my paintings, “Hail Mary” and “The Canticle of Mary”, were included in an Illuminated book of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary by Catholic author Jerry Windley-Daoust. From an artist’s perspective, it’s definitely a boost to the ego to be included in a published collection of work with the likes of Fra Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli! On a deeper level, I believe this author found me because we both share a vision to provide a new, fresh perspective to timeless traditions of our faith. Artwork can offer a deeper understanding for both children and adults; a good companion to the beads. Jerry’s book offers an alternative way to experience the Catholic meditative devotional to Mary: through the eyes of artists who have spent their own prayerful time at the canvas.

I hope you will consider making the rosary part of your spiritual practice, if you don’t already. They’re simple prayers, to a simple girl. And, quite simply, they can drive out darkness. The devil hates that, you know.

A preview, and copies of the Illuminated Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary can be purchased at www.pbgrace.com/joyful-mysteries 

Prints of my included artwork are available in my Etsy and Fine Art America stores.

The original paintings are part of the permanent collection at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos, CA.

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ArtBox Project San Jose!

If you ever find yourself traveling down Curtner Avenue in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, CA, be sure to look North as you cross Booksin Ave and you will see my lastest public artwork. I am one of over 30 artists (so far) who are painting the city’s electrical utility boxes as part of the ArtBox Project SJ. It is reported that the project began when local Metro News columnist Gary Singh pondered whether San Jose could ever back a project like this. He commented to his friend, “idealist” Tina Morrill, “This could never happen in San Jose.” She responded with, “Wanna bet?” and there you have it! They are partnering with neighborhood associations, businesses and business districts and even individual sponsors, as well as local art-entrpreneur Cherri Lakey of Anno Domini, Kaleid Gallery and Phantom Galleries to coordinate local artists with box locations. Here are a few shots of my new ArtBox. I also want to send my appreciation to all the friendly Willow Glen residents who shouted encouragement and thanks to me as I painted out in the traffic for three days, as well as local realtor Holly Barr who added me to the Willow Glen Charm Facebook page! You guys are the best!

Part 1: Sketch and underpainting…

Jen sketching the box design

 And a few shots of the finished work:

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, street side

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, north side

Jen Norton's painted electrical box, south and sidewalk side

A Serenade in Lavender

Lavendar and Bee Painted Chair by Jen Norton

Win this chair and benefit the Symphony of Santa Cruz County!

Normally my work is confined to two dimensions, but every once in a while I get to expand my flat universe. Such was the case last week when I was invited to submit a painted chair for the Symphony League of Santa Cruz’s “A Rare Chair Affair.” Creative chairs fashioned or decorated by local artists will be auctioned off on August 20, 2011 to benefit the Santa Cruz County Symphony and their Youth and Family programs.

My friend and marketing expert extraordinaire Kirsti Scott provided a nicely-crafted but worn chair from her garden. Its well-weathered character inspired the French country bee and lavender theme I chose. Working with its inherent grain and personality, I carved, stained, painted and varnished it into a piece of happy cottage charm. It would make a lovely place to sit and sip your morning coffee!

Is this chair destined for your home? Bid on it at the Symphony League’s Gala Reception on Aug 20, 2011 at the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, CA! Click the links here or call 831-662-8908 or get your tickets to the event. Bee Happy!

—Update: The chair sold at auction, raising over $500 for the Symphony League! It also won a 3rd place prize at the benefit event. —JN, Aug 26, 2011.

 

 

May I tempt you?

Fig Biscotti Recipe Art by Jen Norton

Fig Biscotti Recipe, 32 x 18", Acrylic on Claybord

Bite into my latest recipe art…Fig Biscotti! I entered this in a contest on “They Draw And Cook.com,” where it took an honorable mention with the folks at the California Fig Advisory Board. The original is currently available for $1200, and you can also purchase 5 x 10″ reproductions in (11 x 14 matt size) in my Etsy store or in various canvas-wrapped sizes at GreatBigCanvas. Go ahead…let yourself be tempted!

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: A California Classic

Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Decal 2011

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Chamber of Commerce 2011 Decal

If you visit Santa Cruz in 2011, be sure to look for these decals in some of the window fronts. They display businesses that are members of the Chamber of Commerce, and I had the opportunity to create the illustration of the beach and boardwalk for them! Thanks to my friend Kirsti Scott of  Scott Design (The creative agency for technology companies) for the job.

The original is acrylic on paper and is matted to a 24 x 30″ size. It is available matted for $850 (plus tax and shipping as applicable). Contact us directly to purchase.

Tomatoes on display

Cherry Tomatoes: $1

“Cherry Tomatoes: $1” by Jen Norton

My painting “Cherry Tomatoes: $1” was juried into the 3rd Annual Int’l Society of Acrylic Painters online show. View the show here.

Juror John Salminen.